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High School

August 10, 2021

We’ve all pretty much been there – High School. This eternal crucible is where most of us get our true start in life. Our high school experiences mold us into the people who we are to become more than any other experience in our lives.

As we enter high school, we are usually immature children who need a lot of growing up. We usually get that and a whole lot more during our years in high school. I certainly did. When I entered high school. I was still using crutches after a really badly broken leg which left my tibia in over 200 pieces. I was a bit shy and constantly bullied because of my perceived handicap. My whole life needed changing and I set out to do just that.

Finding that I needed to regain my physicality, I turned to surfing for physical therapy. I also embraced the sport to regain my confidence and message a much battered ego. Riding waves and interacting with others in and out of the water seemed to do the trick. When I left high school, I was confident bordering on cocky and I could walk again without a cane. I was ready for the waiting world.

It’s the stuff in between that was really interesting. In my junior year I helped form the Rising Sons Surf Club at Sylmar High School and it soon became one of the premier social focal points on campus. We would stride into the Sports Nights (Friday night dances) with our embroidered shirts ablaze, declaring to all that we thought we were pretty special. We were special in our own little way. But the experience of belonging to a surfing club matured us all in so many small ways. We learned the value of comradery, keeping healthy and even the mathematical logistics of surfing a wave.

High school was also a time of fun and screwing around before the heavy weight of adulthood set in. We loved drinking gallons of beer, campfires on the beach and the adventure of taking off in a car at night with only a vague destination in mine. Selling liquor to unsuspecting freshmen in watered down paper cups was natural and harmless back then. Nobody ever seemed to get busted. The lack of restraints was a wonderful thing and we bathed in the utter calm before the storm.

However, I was always serious and a bit too grounded at times. I was a writer even back then and I always had my head in a book and a pen in my hand. I knew that I would head for college immediately after high school and I seemed to have been constantly preparing for that journey. I was also the guy who knew how to cook and as such did all of the cooking for our merry band of surfers when we were on the road. Fresh muscles over a campfire in Mexico were my specialty.

Years move on with increasing speed after we leave high school. When life’s currents fully envelope us, we become part of the flow and are propelled ever faster onward toward our final destination. We pause occasionally to reflect or go to high school reunions but we find that the feeling was of the moment and can not be relived. It is as it should be. However, for the briefest moments in time we were all there long ago in a place called high school.

The good-looking guy in the photo is me in my 1966 high school graduation photo. (That’s as about as cleaned up as a surfer got back in the day.)

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  1. rachelbchatty permalink

    I skipped high school. I was born at my current height at my current age. Let’s not ask questions.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sport’s great.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would go back to college in a heartbeat. Never had a desire to return to High School.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t wait to leave high school and get into college. Now I’m a bit nostalgic about those years but I would never want to go back either.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post;I got to know you a little more
    Your final reflection is wonderful

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I too, use to hang with surfers but was never a surfer. Came close to drowning twice and that fear of the water kept me away from trying but you are right about building muscles. That must have been an awfully bad accident to hurt your leg so badly. Hugs Allen. ❤️🤗🦋

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well said, Allen. I definitely think high school is formative, but I can’t blame it for everything. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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